Settling into Autumn 2018

Looking back to last year and comparing what’s happening now to then brings up lots of crazy feelings. I really loved life as a full time RV couple. Not everyone that knows me believes this, but it’s true. I especially loved seeing new landscapes and learning about local culture. From Canada to Mexico and all over the USA west of Denver; what an amazing experience.

Now we are here, living in our new home in Longmont Colorado. Life is good. But I’m here to tell you we went through some rough times while adjusting to life in “sticks and bricks.” There were moments that I thought I had made a monumental mistake by buying a house. Terry and I were on completely different wavelengths. We argued constantly. After spending 10 months together in 400 square feet and now this??

The good news is that we never lost sight of the love and respect we have for each other. Talking it out; not easy for me, was truly the way to making peace with each other and our decision to settle down.

Our friends helped us feel welcome again, without even knowing we were feeling out of sorts.

So, Terry and I are living well, happy, and healthy. Terry got a job at Ute Creek golf course. He gets up at 4:30 in the morning and goes to the golf course to cut the grass. I’m sure it’s more detail than that, but I know he’s tired when he comes home at around lunchtime. The perk is free golf. and he takes advantage of it!

I am doing a lot of calligraphy. I found an app called Thumbtack that I have gotten most of my customers from.

Those are just a few examples. I did the calligraphy for Mike and Katie’s wedding.

I’m also tutoring for children with dyslexia. It’s challenging work, but I enjoy it.

And… I’m back in the classroom but this time as a substitute teacher! I am really enjoying this! I love being in school again, working to help teachers out, and especially meeting and working with kids!! I did not think I was going to like this very much but I’m very happy doing it.

So, that’s that. I was thinking about this blog during my morning run and I wanted to update those of you who are interested.

Thanks for reading, and until the next time. ❤️

Estes Park: Michael and Katie say “I do.”

This long awaited event was everything I had hoped it would be. It began with family gathering at our new home in Longmont. The first thing Ane wanted to do was to go to Target!

And of course we went to the mountains to cool off in the river.

Packing up the next day was tricky, because we had 7 people and 2 small cars. And luggage. And wedding stuff. But everyone was in good spirits and we managed.

Our family enjoys hiking, and Rocky Mountain National Park has limitless opportunities to explore.

The following day, Terry and I hosted a dinner for the bridal party and families. It was so much fun!

Stephanie gave a speech that brought us to tears! Her and Mike are besties, even though sometimes they fight like animals!

Thank you so much Jack Joyce for capturing that on video. 😊

Friday was activity day. Some people chose golf at Estes Park golf club.

And some of us went on a hike in the park.

Friday late afternoon was hosted by Katie’s father Brian Savage. It was such a wonderful event! By that time, most of the guests had arrived and were in celebration mode!

And finally, 8-18-18. The BIG DAY. All of the planning, all of the preparation, well it all came together that special day to unite Michael and Katie in love and marriage. It was a magnificent event. Terry was the officiant for the ceremony and nobody could have done it better.

The colors and light were amazing. Love and excitement were in the air!

Flowers adorned the natural setting. Everything was in place, waiting for the ceremony to begin.

Then, we were gathered together, and just like that, like a blink of an eye, I walked down the aisle with my son, memory upon memory of my sweet, little lammie pie baby who grew into the man I had always hoped he would. This moment was so precious and I’ll never forget it.

My sister sat next to me as we watched the ceremony happen. 💕 I wished I had a photo of us.

Katie was a vision of loveliness in her wedding dress. She had a big smile on her face all day!

Terry said, “By the power vested in me by the state of Colorado, I now pronounce you husband and wife. Katie, you may kiss your husband. Mike, you may kiss her back.” 😊💕

Then Stella came running up and made the union complete!

Everyone loves Stella!!!

Now, the party begins!

A wedding is an opportunity for people to come together in love and celebration. People who don’t often see each other reunite and reconnect. It’s a celebration with deeply human emotions.

The party raged, even through the rain storm later on that evening.

The party continued (without me) and I hear it was epic.

Clearly, it was a good time had by all who attended. Luckily for me, I was snuggled up with my fabulous four grandchildren watching Hercules. 👍😉

The next morning, guests were treated to coffee and breakfast treats. Some said their goodbyes, and the rest of us either slept in or went on the pontoon boat on Lake Estes.

Finally, Monday arrived with all of the emotions of exhaustion and happiness. Michael and Katie and Stella left for their honeymoon adventure in South Dakota. The rest of our family headed to Longmont for a brief after party with a stop over of friends before they caught their flights. Then, because we just can’t get enough adventure, we went to the river again.

So, that’s it. I’m a proud and happy mama. Terry and I count our blessings every day. This crazy family of ours, although far apart in distance, is closer than ever, brought together in the name of Love.

I renewed the blog…

I decided that it was time to tell my readers that I want to keep blogging.  Even though PeeWee is getting some rest from his big adventure, I still would like to let others know about how it feels to stop being full time RVr’s.

IMG_6093As you know, I love it here in Longmont, Colorado.  I love it so much that we bought a house here.  And, oh how I love this house.  It needs some updating, but I can do it, with Terry’s help.  We both have been spending much of our free time working on house projects.  And it’s not always fun.  It can be frustrating, as well as expensive.  But I think we can be happy here.

IMG_6231Yes, the chalkboard green has to go.  I’m just not feeling it.

Terry is working hard to adjust to life NOT on the road.  He loved the traveling lifestyle more than I did.  There are so many parts of the full time RV lifestyle that are fabulous, but for me, I just was over it.  I wanted to come back to Colorado for so many reasons.  Terry is more adventurous and a loveable old hippie.  He could have gone on and on, from place to place with me at his side.  And I love him for that.  Often, we talk about the places we visited and the fun we had.  Instead of feeling the fondness of the memory,  we sometimes feel frustrated with each other.  This is where the strength of our love comes to the rescue.  I say this because I want readers to know that this kind of commitment, meaning RVing full time, affects couples in different ways.  So, one of the things we do to adjust to reentry, is make plans to go camping!  Those plans will have to wait until  after our big event that is coming up…Michael and Katie’s wedding here in Colorado!!!!

IMG_6471Terry and I were in Chicago in June for about 10 days.  It was great to connect with friends and family.  June 23 was Katie and Stephanie’s Happy Hour Bridal Shower at Bar Cocina.  Perfect weather and a perfect celebration!

The second celebration was for Stephanie and Jack, who will be married in December in Chicago.  YES, both kids in one year.  Gulp!

So we count our blessings, and realize that we have so much to be grateful for.  Stay tuned for lots of celebrating and BIG LOVE when Terry officiates the marriage of our son Michael James to Miss Kathleen Savage on August 18, 2018 in Estes Park, Colorado.  Our family from San Sebastian will be at the wedding, too!!! Excitement overload! Thanks for following!

I’m home😊

After I resigned from my teaching position last May, I wasn’t sure about how I felt. About anything. I kept expecting to feel something; freedom, fear, excitement…but I just didn’t feel. I’m usually a very introspective person with a clear line to my emotions, but not this time. So confused.

A wise friend told me to nurture my inner child. She told me that girl is still in me. So, first I had to find her. That’s when I remembered her; the little girl who used to run away, only to be found at the local elementary school in the kindergarten class. The little girl who used to beg to go to summer school. The little girl who used to take care of her sister and brother like she was their mama. The little girl, now a grown woman, who lost her brother to suicide. 💔 I’ll stop here.

Well, dear Lydia, our conversation had a profound effect on how I choose to treat myself and the choices I make. I’m so grateful for PeeWee’s Big Adventure because it helped me heal, both physically and emotionally. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to renew my relationship with my great love, Terry. I found out that I’m stronger than I thought.

So, PeeWee is here in Lyons Colorado. We are living here until next week. Then, we move into a HOUSE. Yes, we bought a small house in Longmont. And yes, we will still travel in PeeWee. But with our kids’ weddings approaching, maybe not as often and certainly for not as long. I’m taking one day at a time.

So, be kind to yourself. After all, you’re doing the best you can with what you’ve got. I hope this doesn’t come across as preachy. I’m coming from a place of love and I wanted to share it. 💗

San Sebastián

So very far away. I’m not a great long distance traveler. For some reason, all of my senses go on high alert when I’m on a 9 hour flight. Sounds and smells really set me off. I don’t sleep much, and my eyes are too tired to read. But I keep in mind that our 4 grandkids are waiting for us, and that is enough motivation for me. We are one happy, loving, devoted family!

Ok, so the selfie stick is in the way…

Here are some examples of what we live like when we are here in Donostia:

Ok , the food is outstanding! And the wine, so delicious!

But the best thing of all is spending time with our family.❤️

Every once in awhile the sun would peek out…

The gardens are thriving because the plants get so much rain!

San Sebastián is a wonderful city that my girls from another mama live in with their families. Their friends and family here have opened up their hearts to include us.

Now if that little face doesn’t make you smile, then look again! And I’m not talking about my face. I’m one happy, well fed Noni! I’ll see you in Chicago next!

Lyons, Colorado

Lots of emotions; both high and low upon returning to the Front Range. Our travels have led us to places we only dreamed of seeing and experiences we never considered. It has been EPIC, a chance of a lifetime, another opportunity to fall in love again, time to heal and renew. I’m forever thankful for all of this.

We have decided to settle back in Longmont Colorado. It’s a wonderful place for us. We like the people we’ve met, the proximity to the mountains, and the climate. It’s kinda country, with good shopping lol!

Once we get settled in a house, we hope to have visitors, so remember that. Until then, we are living in a nice RV park in Lyons. We have tickets to visit our beautiful grandchildren in Spain. Our son and daughter are having weddings this year. Love is all around, and for that I am so very grateful. 😊❤️

Palisade Colorado😊

Crossing the state line from Utah into Colorado was emotional for me. On one hand, I feel like I’m just about home. Even though I don’t have a sticks and bricks home here heehee. On the other hand, it feels like we are nearing the end of our big adventure. I’m not sure what that will look like, but I am sure that Terry and I will make the decision that is best for us.

I am tired of RV living. It’s a great lifestyle, and it has afforded us experiences like I never imagined. But I’m just not cut out for full timing forever. Nuff said.

Terry may feel differently. I will leave that up to him to write about, if he chooses.

Palisade is a gorgeous area on the western slope. Spring is in full force there. The grapes are beginning to leaf out and apple and peach trees are on their last bloom. It’s an idyllic place with lots of sunshine and happy people.

Our friends were great hosts, as usual. But it’s time to say goodbye. For now.

Driving over Vail Pass and the Continental Divide is always exhilarating.

Terry is power driving today. He’s a good man. I’ll be in touch soon. Thank you for coming along with us!👍

Moab: Arches and Canyonlands National Parks

Moab is a very happening place. If you like the great outdoors, Moab will suit you. From extreme sports like rock climbing and mountain biking to OHV and 4 wheelers, Moab has it all. Hiking opportunities are everywhere, and the scenery is spectacular!

Our first overnight was in a dusty boondocking spot. I guess getting here on a Saturday was not the smartest of plans. But we got a spot, unhooked the Toad, and headed into town. Moab Brewery, here we come! Great food, great beer! Nice folks, too!

The following day we scored a primo campsite on the Colorado river. 4 days of dry camping. We had to conserve resources, but we enjoy that challenge.

Moab has a great bike path that is for all abilities. Terry shows off his fabulous physique here.

Arches National Park is a fascinating place. You have to arrive early or you have to wait in a long line to enter. Here are some highlights:

Time for lunch!

We enjoyed a series of relatively short hikes throughout the park. Devil’s Garden was my favorite.

The weather changed in the late afternoon. Wind howled all night and temperatures dropped. So, we dress warmly and go for a drive to Canyonlands National Park. Beautiful!!

Such remote, raw landscape! This is a much quieter park than Arches, but it should not be overlooked.

The confluence of the Green and the Colorado rivers is right here in this park.

We hiked Upheaval Dome. Scientists are not sure if this area was created by a meteor or just erosion. It is the oldest geologic feature in the park.

Indian Paintbrush is blooming!

Originally, I wanted to skip Canyonlands. I’m glad we didn’t.

The last day in Moab was spent hiking at Fisher Towers. This was an all day hike for us; about 6 total miles and 670 feet of elevation. We may have saved the best for last.

Poles are helpful for this hike.

This trail was tricky in spots.

Especially crawling through a crevice!

You can barely see me in that photo, but it gives great perspective of the majestic skyline.

Time for a little after lunch yoga!

Then a stop at a local winery!! Yay!

We said goodbye to Utah this morning. The memories we have are priceless. Through the ups and downs of this entire adventure, one thing that never wavered is our love and commitment to each others’ happiness. Stay tuned for more of our rideandseek adventure back in Colorado!! 👍👍❤️❤️

Capitol Reef National Park

The drive from Bryce to Torrey UT was incredible. We took Scenic Hwy 12 all the way to Torrey. The storm that is making its way across the nation made its mark as we were driving through Escalante and Grand Staircase National Monument.

Terry is an excellent driver. If it were up to me, I would have abandoned PeeWee long ago. He drove through wind and snow to get to our destination. But before the bad weather hit, we made a few stops to take in the view.

We decided to stay at 1000 Lakes RV park, full hook ups! Perfect place to weather the storm. At least we thought. It was so cold that Terry drove 18 miles to buy a space heater. That helped a lot.

The next day was sunny and warmer. We visited Capitol Reef NP, and WOW! I think we both said WOW at least 20 times in 20 minutes!

After a trip to the visitors’ center, and some advice from a friend, I chose Grand Wash as the hike du jour. We drove the Toad about a mile in to the trailhead. Get ready for some great photos!

The trail goes deep into the canyon.

Honestly, I felt like I was trespassing on some ancient, mystical site. The energy from both living and non living things was moving through me, making me feel so insignificant, yet accepted by the surroundings.

Terry thinks he’s the only one who has ever stuck his head in this hole in the mountain. Lol!

We are having fun!

So today was the drive toward Canyonlands and Arches National Parks. Here are a few photos from the drive;

Spring has arrived in Moab, so the trees are flowering and the sun is warm. I look forward to sharing the rest of this adventure with you! Thanks for riding along with us❤️.

Bryce National Park/RedCanyon

Now this is what I call remote. I’m feeling like I’m so far away from everything, yet right where I want to be. It’s exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. I’m not sure if I’m making sense, but I don’t always understand myself these days. So, nature soothes me.

I’ve been fortunate to have seen many magnificent places. But I’ve never experienced this kind of beauty. Bryce and the surrounding area is mystical, ancient, and inspiring.

We are boondocking (again) in a really private area that is not too far from either Red Canyon or Bryce National Park. After we got settled the first day, we took off for one of my bucket list hikes; Queens Garden and Navajo Loop. Gotta get these legs pumpin’ for this one.

Each step, views abound. Sun shining, cool wind blowing, loving it all.

Terry is amazing. These are not easy hikes. Sometimes I wonder if I’ve asked too much from him. But then I see him, next to me, feeling the energy of the land. He’s stronger because of how he pushes himself. ❤️

So, after a good meal and a good night’s sleep, we set out for another adventure. Shocking, right? This time, the bike ride was a doozy. Ugh! Buns on fire!

Ok, so we didn’t realize it would be 4 miles downhill and then BACK UPHILL. So that accomplished, we rested then took the Toad to the trailhead of Birdseye and Pink Ledges in Red Canyon.

Today was a relaxing day, with one last hike in Sheep Canyon.

I know it’s photo overload, but I cannot help myself. There is so much beauty to share,

A storm is coming through the area tonight. Tomorrow is supposed to be windy and quite cold. So we are outta here, planning on traveling toward Moab on Scenic Route 12. Until next time, I leave you with this: